Birds, Mutts or Berbers?
How did the Canary Islands get their name? From the trilling native canary birds perhaps? Or maybe they were named after the Latin word for dog (canus), because members of an early expedition discovered what they considered unusually large dogs? Still others held that the natives of the island were dog eaters.
A more plausible theory claims that the people of Canaria, who arrived several hundred years before the time of Christ, were in fact Berbers of the Canarii tribe living in Morocco. The tribal name was simply applied to the island and later accepted by Pliny. How Canaria came to be Gran (Big) is perhaps because the island was thought to be the biggest in the archipelago, even though Tenerife and Fuerteventura are actually larger.